LOOKING FOR TRAVEL INSPIRATION?

Looking for travel inspiration? Follow the wise words of these thinkers!


Published on May 9, 2024


Credit: 822640

Let's take pleasure in these pieces of advice that can encourage all of us, desktop travelers who often find ourselves lost in daydreams while exploring the world through those exciting apps and maps, hoping that, in some secret corner marked with an 'X,' we'll discover ourselves.

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"Maps encourage boldness. They’re like cryptic love letters. They make anything seem possible."

Credit: Stanislav Kondratiev

Mark Jenkins , world-renowned explorer, acclaimed author, and a foreign correspondent for National Geographic for three decades, knows maps.

Whether they are ancient scrolls illustrated with mythical creatures on their margins, warning 'There Be Dragons,' or the efficient digital versions that we carry in our pockets, fearlessly guiding us to our favorite bakery, maps offer us a challenge, the promise of an adventure, and, if we read them correctly, they always lead to a treasure.

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"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."

Credit: Jesse Bowser

J. R. R. Tolkien , the legendary creator of The Lord of the Rings reminds us that the adventure begins when we decide to move from contemplation to action and set foot outside our comfort zone.

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"Every dreamer knows that it is entirely possible to be homesick for a place you’ve never been to, perhaps more homesick than for familiar ground."

Credit: Lisa Fotios

Judith Thurman , American writer, biographer, and poet, winner of the National Book Award for Isak Dinesen: The Life of A Storyteller, which served as the basis for Sydney Pollack's 1985 film Out of Africa, powerfully evokes the feeling of nostalgia for places completely unknown.

It's a mysterious call that resonates within us and refuses to be ignored.

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"Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps. The sleeper must wake up."

Credit: Jill Wellington

Frank Herbert encourages us to awaken the traveler who sleeps within us.

Considering the success achieved by the world-famous author of Dune , one of the most influential and best-selling works of science fiction of all time, it seems wise to heed his words carefully.

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"If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there."

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Lewis Carroll , the renowned author of_Alice in Wonderland,_ reminds us of the advantages of carefully planning our trip before starting it.

Or, maybe he encourages us to take the plunge and let ourselves be surprised along the way.

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"I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list."

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Few expressions overflow with as much optimism and capture the authentic spirit of the traveler as this luminous definition by Susan Sontag , the multifaceted New York writer, teacher, and film director, one of the great and challenging thinkers of the 20th century.

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"Through we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not."

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Ralph Waldo Emerson , American essayist, philosopher, and abolitionist, author of great works such as The Conduct of Life, reminds us that beauty is in the way we look and that the experience we live depends much more on our own disposition than on the wonders we encounter along the way.

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"Traveling it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller."

Credit: Tomáš Malík

Ibn Battuta , the intrepid Moroccan explorer of the 14th century knew this well when he captured his travel memories of 40 countries and three continents in his work A Gift to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Traveling .

From those fascinating chronicles to today's social media posts, we all know that our travels come alive again, and sometimes they only make sense, when we share them with others .

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"No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow."

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When does a trip really end ? After a life that took him from his native China to the east coast of the United States, France, Germany, and back to China and America again, Chinese inventor, linguist, novelist, philosopher, and translator Lin Yutang —author among others of _The Importance of Living_—fully appreciated the value of returning to the known places after a long journey.

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"If you think adventure is dangerous try routine. It is lethal."

Credit: Chris Curry

If these reflections haven't persuaded you to leave your seat and start packing your backpack right away, then keep in mind this final warning from Paulo Coelho , the renowned Brazilian author and creator of The Alchemist .


DOOMSDAY TALES

10 Times The Apocalypse Failed To Show Up


Published on May 9, 2024


Credit: Javier Miranda

Oddly, the idea of the apocalypse has always fascinated humanity. Throughout history, many have predicted the end of the world with fervor and certainty - and many have believed in these predictions with genuine dread.

However, time and time again, these doomsday prophecies have failed to materialize , leaving many scratching their heads or just breathing a sigh of relief. Let's take a look at 10 instances where the world didn't end as predicted.

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The Year 1000

Credit: Zoltan Tasi

Some historians believe that as the first millennium drew to a close, widespread panic gripped Europe, with many fearing the end of the world would coincide with the year 1000. The belief was rooted in Christian theology, as a thousand years had passed since Jesus’ birth. However, when the anticipated end-of-days came, absolutely nothing happened. Some were disappointed, while others hit the snooze button on the prophesized apocalypse until 1033, a thousand years after Jesus’ crucifixion (spoiler alert: they were also wrong).

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Johannes Stöffler's Deluge

Credit: Elias Null

In 1499, Johannes Stöffler, a German mathematician and astronomer, predicted that a great flood would engulf the world on February 20, 1524. Stöffler based his prophecy on the alignment of planets under the watery sign of Pisces, believing it foretold a catastrophic deluge. His prophecy was believed by many, and boat builders saw an unexpected boom in sales, with even a German nobleman ordering to build a three-story ark.

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Millerites' Great Disappointment

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One of the most notable failed doomsday predictions in religious history was the prophesied by William Miller, an American clergyman. Miller predicted the Second Coming of Christ on October 22, 1844, and his prophecy led to an ardent following known as the Millerites. However, when Jesus failed to appear as expected, his followers experienced what they called the "Great Disappointment." Many were justifiably angry, as they had sold their earthly possessions in a hurry, while many others turned to different congregations, or abandoned their beliefs completely.

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Halley's Comet Panic

Credit: Steve Busch

As Halley's Comet made its close approach to Earth in 1910, an observatory in Chicago announced that it had detected a toxic gas called cyanogen in the composition of the comet’s tail. Although ridiculous by modern standards, rumors then spread of the danger of the comet's poisonous gas tail, exacerbated by reports from media outlets like The New York Times, which reported that a French astronomer believed the gas could "impregnate the atmosphere" and asphyxiate all life on the planet.

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Edgar Cayce's Cataclysm

Credit: Daniil Silantev

Famed psychic Edgar Cayce prophesied a series of cataclysmic events he called "Earth Changes," that included the sinking of continents and the shifting of poles among many other catastrophes, during the late 20th century. Despite Cayce's reputation for accuracy in other predictions, these apocalyptic visions never materialized , leaving his followers perplexed.

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A New Ice Age

Credit: Tom Wheatley

In the 1970s, scientists noticed that global temperatures had decreased slightly since the 40s, and some conjectured that this trend could lead to an impending ice age. Though very few scientists actually thought this was likely - and most actually warned of the opposite trend of global warming - sensationalist media quickly picked up the ice age prediction, sparking fears of widespread famine and societal collapse. However, as subsequent research revealed the complexities of climate dynamics , the notion of an imminent ice age apocalypse was thoroughly debunked.

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The Jupiter Effect

Credit: Planet Volumes

In 1974, John Gribbin and Stephen Plagemann - two actual scientists for a change - theorized that the tidal forces resulting from the alignment of planets in our solar system, particularly Jupiter, could lead to catastrophic earthquakes in 1982. Though they later reconsidered their position after further research, their predictions gained some traction in the media. Luckily, the supposed effect failed to cause any noticeable disruption , and planetary alignments again proved to be completely harmless to life on Earth.

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Y2K Bug

Credit: Jake Walker

The turn of the millennium brought widespread fear of a technological meltdown due to a hypothetical software error known as the Y2K bug. Experts warned of computers crashing and electronically operated infrastructure collapsing as their internal clocks rolled over to the year 2000. Yet, when the clock struck midnight, the anticipated chaos failed to materialize, in part thanks to extensive preparation and updates to computer systems worldwide, but even where little had been done to prevent the error, problems were almost non-existent.

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CERN's Large Hadron Collider

Credit: Antonio Vivace

When the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was switched on in 2008, concerns arose of potential black holes swallowing the Earth or the accidental creation of strange particles that could convert all matter into a new form. Since one of the stated goals of the LHC was actually to simulate microscopic black holes , it was natural for some people without knowledge of the matter to get a little nervous. However, obviously nothing bad happened , and the LHC has operated safely, advancing our understanding of particle physics without bringing about our demise.

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End Of The Mayan Calendar

Credit: Kym MacKinnon

As the end of the Mayan Long Count calendar approached in 2012, speculation ran rampant that it signaled the end of the world. Despite Mayan scholars stating that there were no end of the world prophecies included in the ancient calendar, believers predicted all sorts of crazy catastrophes, from planetary alignment to cataclysmic events. As we all know, December 21, 2012, came and went without incident, proving doomsayers wrong once again.

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